The National Pork Producers Council is urging House lawmakers to take up legislation (H.R. 4645) that would let U.S. citizens travel to Cuba and allow direct transfers of funds from Cuban to U.S. financial institutions for products authorized for sale under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.
That law granted exceptions for agricultural and medical products to the unilateral trade embargo the United States placed on Cuba in 1960 after that country nationalisd the property of U.S. citizens and corporations.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is expected to mark up the bill tomorrow. In a letter sent today, NPPC asked the panel’s members to support H.R. 4645 and to oppose any amendments to it. Senate companion legislation is pending action in the Finance Committee.
Iowa State economist Dermot Hayes estimates that U.S. pork exports would increase by $28.2 million once the travel and financing restrictions on Cuba are lifted. Over the past year, the United States shipped about $13.4 million of pork to Cuba. The policy change also would create about 6,000 additional jobs in the United States, according to a study conducted by Texas A&M University, which also found that total U.S. exports would increase by $365 million a year.
Exports are vital to the U.S. pork industry, which last year shipped more than $4.3 billion of pork products, an amount that added about $38 to the price producers received for each hog marketed.
Source: National Pork Producers Council